Dr. Jonathan Lynch is a Professor of Plant Nutrition at Pennsylvania State University. He received his Masters and PhD in Plant Physiology from the University of California, Davis and completed his postdoctoral training at UC Davis as well. Jonathan worked as a Senior Staff Researcher at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture before joining the faculty at Penn State. Jonathan has received many awards and honors during his career. He was named a Distinguished Professor by the Mexican Academy of Science and is a Fellow of the Crop Science Society of America. He has also received the Alex and Jessie C. Black Award for Excellence in Agricultural Research, the Howard P. Taylor lectureship in root biology research, the China Friendship Award (the highest recognition awarded foreigners by the government of China), and the Excellent Educational Work Prize from Guangdong Province in China. Jonathan is here with us today to tell us about his journey through life and science.
The overall research focus of the Jonathan’s Roots Lab at Penn State is understanding the genetic, physiological, and ecological basis of plant adaptation to infertile soils. This encompasses physiology, genetics, and ecology, centered on organismic processes. Most of our current work focuses on understanding root traits that can be used to breed crops with better acquisition of phosphorus, nitrogen, and water. Since most soils on earth suffer from one or more nutritional problems, this subject is of considerable importance for two of the great challenges confronting humanity: how to sustainably support over 7 billion people, and how to deal with global environmental change.